How can sex workers negotiate condom use with their romantic partners?

Priya Pillai The Guardian, 2017; How can sex workers negotiate condom use with their romantic partners?

A guardian article, written by Priya Pillai, shares photographs and quotes from female sex workers engaged in an intervention and evaluation study in northern Karnataka, India. Samvedana Plus seeks to understand and address violence in the intimate relationships of female sex workers and their increased vulnerability to HIV/AIDS.

The norms governing relationships have significant implications for public health interventions, particularly for HIV/AIDS programmes. Women’s unquestioning acceptance of masculinity norms and trust in their partners create barriers to condom use and uptake of health services by both women and men. Since early 2015, a total of 800 FSWs in the district have been learning to better negotiate violence and condom use with their partners.

 Priya Pillai

Individual and group sessions inform FSWs about protective laws and teach them to better communicate with their partners. Peer support groups, outreach workers and a crisis management team from a sex worker’s collective work to guide them about how to better resist violence from their partners. The programme provides access to HIV services and distributes male and female condoms. Outreach workers offer counselling to the FSWs and their partners when there is a fight.

 Priya Pillai

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